When Jason Sawin was a teenager, he decided to make snow at home. He had been a skier since 1975 and always loved the snow. A friend of his worked at a plumbing store and, one day, they got a few parts together to make a small snowmaker. That was December of 1989 in Southern California and it only got cold enough a few times a winter. One morning it was 18°, so Jason started it up and made 1/4″ of snow on a 10′ x 10′ area. That was the first and last time he made snow in California.
A year later Jason moved to Steamboat Springs, CO and in November 1993 got a job as a snowmaker at Howelsen Hill Ski Area. In March of 2001, Jason and Kelly moved to Littleton, CO (it doesn’t snow very much there) and she asked him to make snow the following November. Jason got out that 12 year old homemade snowmaker from California, made some changes and started making snow. Everyone was so excited and wanted to make their own, so he spent all winter testing prototypes. Jason had such great results that he hired a machine shop to manufacture the final design.
A short time later Jason built the Cornice II Snowmaker and needed snowmaking hose for the portable system. That lead to CHS Snowmakers beginning to represent Niedner Snowhose and Drift. Now they represent many other amazing ski industry products that they have hand-picked for their customers and also have their own line of products including Quick Snow, the Cornice III and a custom multi-purpose wheeled carriage. CHS is proud of the products they represent and believe in them 100%.
The Sawins have moved to Idaho and are continuing CHS Snowmakers from our tubing hill in Garden Valley. www.idahoXsports.com Check us out on Facebook, too! facebook.com/idahoXsports
I graduated high school in 1991 from Steamboat Springs High School. November 1991 until April 1992 I worked for Steamboat Ski and Resort for one season in Base Area Services. April 1992 till March 1993 I built solid oak furniture, March 1993 till November 1993 I worked for a landscaping company. Also during this time I was taking classes at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat and later received my Associates Degree.
In November 1993, I started working for the City of Steamboat Springs at Howelsen Hill and started as a snowmaker and a lift operator. That spring I continued working at Howelsen Hill doing summer ski area maintenance and rodeo grounds maintenance. After two years as a part-time employee I became a full-time crew leader. My responsibilities included snowmaking, lift operations, grooming, and summer maintenance of both the ski area and the rodeo grounds. I helped to design and install snowmaking pipe for air and water, electric lines, and snowmaking pumps. Howelsen Hill hosted large events in the winter including the Nordic Combined World Cup (ski jumping and cross country skiing), Junior Olympics for alpine ski racing and numerous other winter events.
In April 1994, I became a volunteer firefighter for Steamboat Springs Fire Department. In March 2000, I left Howelsen Hill for a full time position as a firefighter with the Avon Fire Department (near Beaver Creek, CO). I worked there and still volunteered in Steamboat until I left Avon Fire and Steamboat in March of 2001 to take a job with West Metro Fire Rescue in Lakewood, CO. I completed my paramedic certification and was a Firefighter Paramedic for 15 years. In 2015, my family and I moved to Garden Valley, Idaho to run Idaho X-Sports Adventure Park. I am dedicated to the snow sports industry, CHS Snowmakers, and our customers. I love to make snow and my industry experience is more than 23 years now.
Let me first start by saying Kelly is the best wife anyone could have. Without her, there would not be CHS Snowmakers. She gave me the idea to make snow in Littleton and she let me fulfill the crazy idea I had to build a snowmaking company from scratch.
In 1999 Kelly became a 911 dispatcher for Routt County. She dispatched the Steamboat Springs Fire Department to calls while I was volunteering there, but that is not where we met. We met at Euzoa Bible Church one spring night in April of 2000. On November 5, 2000 we were married in front of the fireplace during a snow storm at Howelsen Hill Lodge in Steamboat. Kelly was a dispatcher until we moved to Littleton and now she really enjoys her jobs at home; working for CHS and raising our son Noah.
Noah is such a great kid! He has been skiing since he was one-year-old and loves this industry. He is learning more about our products each and every day and loves to talk to our customers about them. Noah’s favorite things in the world are airplanes, trains, electricity and engineering.